Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cookies

1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (i know we’re not baking them, it’s for flavor)
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup Greek yogurt or applesauce or peanut butter
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips, melted for dipping

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment (or with a large bowl and a wooden spoon) cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes in the machine. Beat in yogurt or applesauce or peanut butter along with the vanilla extract and stir to combine.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add all at once to the butter and sugar mixture and stir until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips and wanuts.

Scoop large spoonfuls or ice cream scoops onto a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Spear each dough ball with a cute plastic fork or a popsicle stick. Place in the freezer overnight or until frozen, at least three hours.

When ready to dip the balls, melt chocolate chips in a small saucepan over a low flame or in the microwave. Remove balls from the freezer and dip into warm chocolate. Return to the lined cookie sheet and return to the freezer to harden. Serve cold from the freezer.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Granola Bars

2-½ cups Rolled Oats
1-½ cup Nuts, Chopped, I Used Walnuts And Pecans
¼ cups Shredded Coconut
½ cups Raisins
6 Tablespoons Salted Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1-½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
6 Tablespoons Liquid Honey
2 Tablespoons Molasses

Toast oats, nuts and coconut in a large skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, stirring often. Remove to a large bowl and toss with raisins.

Place butter, sugar, cinnamon, honey and molasses in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir into oat mixture until evenly coated. Let sit just until cool enough to handle.

In the meantime, line a 7×11 inch pan with plastic wrap. Spoon mixture into pan, pressing down to compact. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. Once firmed, remove from pan, peel away plastic wrap and slice into 16 bars (half lengthwise and then into 8). Wrap individually in plastic wrap or parchment paper, if desired. Store covered at room temperature.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Carrot Cake Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I used a smidge less)
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional, I skipped them)
2 tablespoons golden raisins (optional, ditto)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups finely grated carrots (from about a 3/4 pound bundle whole carrots)
3 tablespoons butter, for griddle

Cream cheese topping
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Dash of ground cinnamon

Place a rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat to 200°F. This will keep the pancakes warmed as they’re fried in batches.

To make the pancakes: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and, if using, nuts and raisins. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in carrots. Stir carrot mixture into dry ingredients, stirring until just Incorporated. Let rest for five minutes while you make the cream cheese topping.

To make the cream cheese topping: In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy and lump-free. Whisk in powdered sugar, two tablespoons milk, vanilla and cinnamon. If you’d like the mixture thinner, add the remaining tablespoon of milk (I did not).

Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a cast-iron skillet or griddle pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons batter into the hot pan per pancake (to me, this seemed like too little but after experimenting with larger pancakes, I advise you to listen to Joy; It’s a wiggly batter and much easier to and cook in small puddles), flipping once, until pancakes are golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer finished pancakes to a serving dish or tray in the oven, to keep warm while you repeat the process with the remaining batter, adding more butter as needed.

Serve warm with cream cheese topping.

Smitten Kitchen

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Cranberry and Lime Muffins

7 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lime
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar for topping

Put a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper or foil liners

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Keep an eye on the butter. Melt and cook down the butter until little brown bits appear in the pan. The crackling will subside and butter will begin to brown fairly quickly after that. Keep a close eye. Remove from heat.

Whisk milk, egg, yolk, vanilla and lime zest until combined. Add the brown butter and whisk to combine.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl Add milk and butter mixture all at one and stir gently to combine. Gently but thoroughly fold in the cranberries.

Divide the batter among muffin cups and spread evenly.

Generously sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake until golden and crisp and a wooden pick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes then remove from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Joy the Baker

Chicken and Chorizo

1 whole, bone in chicken breast with skin (about 1 1/2 lbs), thighs can be substituted
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs veggie oil
1 lb Chorizo sausage, sliced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbs tomato paste
4 cups chicken broth
1 15 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 cup long grain rice
Tabasco sauce, for serving

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

In a heavy pot, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, 4 minutes; turn over and cook until browned on the second side, 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and discard the skin.

In the same pan, brown the sausages over moderately high heat, 4 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the chicken.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pot. Add the celery, bell pepper and onion and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the flour and the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the flour smells nutty, about 3 minutes.
Add the broth and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and sausages to the pot. Cover and simmer over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. (Your meat thermometer should read at least 165 degrees F.)
Transfer the chicken and sausages to a cutting board. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Slice the sausages into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Return both to the pot, and stir in the scallions and rice. Simmer until heated through, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and serve with Tabasco

Adapted from Ezra Poundcake

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

2 large eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons light brown, dark brown or granulated sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk or 2 tablespoons each of milk and plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini (from about 9 ounces whole, or 1 1/2 medium zucchini), heaping cups are fine
1 cup all-purpose flour (half can seamlessly be swapped with a whole wheat flour)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg

Butter or oil, for coating skillet

In a large bowl, combine eggs, olive oil, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in zucchini shreds. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir dry ingredients into zucchini batter, mixing until just combined.

Preheat oven to 200°F and place a tray — foil-lined if you’re into doing fewer dishes later — on a middle rack.
Heat a large, heavy skillet (my favorite for pancakes is a cast-iron) over medium heat. Once hot, melt a pat of butter in pan and swirl it around until it sizzles. Scoop scant 1/4-cup dollops of batter (mine were about 3 tablespoons each) in pan so the puddles do not touch. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook another minute or two, until golden underneath. Transfer pancakes to prepared pan to keep warm as well as ensure that they’re all cooked through when they’re served. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm. Repeat next weekend.

Smitten Kitchen

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Sweet Potato Garlic Knots

  •  1 cup Warm Water
  • 1 envelope (7g Envelope) Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey Or Agave Nectar
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil,, Plus More To Oil The Bowl
  • ½ cups Sweet Potato Puree (fresh Or Canned)
  • 3-½ cups Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 1-½ teaspoon Coarse Kosher Salt
  • Minced Garlic And Olive Oil, To Brush On Baked Knots

Note: To make sweet potato puree, wash and peel sweet potato and cut into 1-inch squares. Place in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 20-25 minutes or until soft. Remove from heat and drain into a colander and return to the pot. Mash and allow them to sit while you prepare your other ingredients.  I would try puree that had been roasted.
1. Pour warm water into a medium bowl and slowly whisk in yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes, then add honey, olive oil and mashed sweet potato. Whisk until thoroughly combined and smooth.
2. In a separate bowl, mix flour and salt. Slowly stir in wet ingredients and continue to stir until it becomes impossible to stir more. Then use your hands to continue mixing and slowly start kneading your dough, adding more flour to your hands to keep it from sticking.
3. Once you’ve created your dough ball, add olive oil to the bottom of your bowl and roll the dough ball in it until it is coated. Cover with Saran wrap or a damp towel and store in a dry place (I use my microwave) for two hours.
4. Around the last 15-minute mark, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Divide your dough into pieces you can easily hold in your fist and roll them into long strips around 8 or 9-inches long. Don’t worry if they’re skinny, they’ll still get fat when they bake. Tie each into a knot, tuck the edges under each side, then place each on the pizza stone.
5. Bake until golden, around 10-15 minutes. Brush with minced garlic and olive oil immediately after removing from oven. Allow to cool 3-5 minutes.